A month before my father died unexpectedly, he and I visited the cemetery in Providence where both his parents were buried, and where unbeknownst to either of us, he would soon be as well.
It was an unusually warm and sunny winter day, and as we placed flowers on the grave, a smile of contentment spread across my dad's face.
"I take comfort knowing I'll be here someday," he said. "That my children will come and visit, that my grandkids will run across these gardens, listening to stories of their dear old Grandpa."
"Don't talk like that!"I scolded him.
But he kept on smiling--basking in the sun and in his happy mood.
Last week, after many years, I returned to the gravesite and kneeled beside the marker--a reminder of a beloved husband and father.
"You would be so proud of me, Pop," I said--my tears washing over the stone. "You would be so proud of what I've done for myself--you would really like who I've become."